What kind of Scottish Government do we want?


What kind of Scottish Government do we want? Campaigning surrounds us with countless leaflets through our letterboxes, trying to secure our attention in the run-up to the Election on Thursday 5 May. Some will no doubt vote for the political party they usually support or the politicians they like. Some will consider voting differently this time.

Party politics aside, what kind of government do we actually need rather than want in Scotland? This is important given the extended powers and responsibilities, over taxation for example, and the need to be responsive, effective and accountable.

Equally important are matters of health and social care, education and employment, the economy and environment, which all require due attention if Scottish society is to truly flourish, whether in or out of the United Kingdom or the European Union.

Single minded majorities who don’t listen usually make for poor government. Effective opposition, holding the government to account for its record and politicians willing to challenge their own party makes for a healthy nation.

Consultation and good committee work are essential so that different voices are heard, shaping well drafted legislation. We have too much legislation as it is, so let’s have clear and helpful statutes rather than doctrinaire meddling.

Politicians need to bring integrity, imagination, and pragmatism as well as personal ambition in order to get things done.

Remaining politically circumspect but always concerned to serve the poor and marginalised and to challenge the rich and powerful, Jesus understood how our inner motives drive our behaviour. Just as we also should challenge injustice and care for others as generously as for ourselves.

Let’s have a Scottish Government and Parliament which are less about power and rhetoric and more about genuinely improving the quality of life for all citizens.

Bishop Nigel’s  article in the Courier, a widely read daily Scottish newspaper published in Dundee published 4th May 2016.

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